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Hartley Artifacts / Textiles

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Panel with meander or knot, interlace and guilloche patterns

3rd-7th century CE
Early Byzantine Egypt

MOST FAMOUS OF HARTLEY FRAGMENTS, PUBLISHED AND SHOWN BY DIKRAN KELEKIAN: primary illustration in Additional Documents in Coptic Art in the Collection of Dikran G. Kelekian, Inc., 20 East 57th Street, NY, 1941, described as “Square Shaped Tapestry: Geometrical designs in undyed linen thread on purple wool background, III-IV century AD.” Original black and white photographs in Kelekian Archive at the Onassis Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, identifies this as “No. 5.”
Comparable examples include the following, for full citations see page for object accession number 1951.2.75.a. See: Kajitani, fig. 4 (Met Museum – 33.10.43 fragment) for identical pattern with meander/knot with random star/grape leaf pattern found in upper left and lower right small squares. Met piece is from 3rd to 4th century cemetery; De Moor, on Antwerp fragments: fig. 4 for repeated pattern use of large octagons with interior octagons as center here, CARBON DATED 590-720 AD, and fig. 1, with octagons with eight small interior octagons formed of guilloche patterns with stars or grape leaves at center of each larger octagon, as in center here and in border octagons here, and including similar lattice/interlace border, CARBON DATED 340-550 AD . See also: Queens College fragment in Maguire, p. 78, with circle of running guilloche border, dated third to fourth century, publishes also as Woodfin, p. 79, #103 and dated 4th to 7th century; and Ball, Met Museum fragment with a pair of similar large geometric squares, p. 56, fig. 1-2.1, Met 1890.5.807, dated 5th century. - Rebecca Corrie, August 24, 2020

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